Laci's Policy Paper

Policy on Organic Dairy Products
Eating healthy and losing weight has become a top trend among Americans. Dairy products have also been known to boost metabolism and eating the right amount of dairy products everyday can keep human weights healthy. In the Dairy industry, organic milk has been shown to provide even more health benefits including carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Organic milk can even have twice as many omega-3 fats which are good for heart health and lower heart disease. A three year study from the years of 2002 to 2005 at the universities of Liverpool and Glasgow was run to see if there really was a benefit of organic milk over conventional milk. Researchers found that in 400 milk samples from organic and conventional milk that organic milk had 70% more omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help gain muscle and lose fat. Vitamins A and E boost muscle recovery. This leads to the thought that organic milk is worth the extra cost over standard milk (2). Milk and dairy products are large sources of calcium as well as multiple vitamins and minerals. Organic milk is harvested from cows which are free of growth hormones and antibiotics (1). Like meat, organic dairy contains no antibiotics, and there are no pesticides in the cows' feed. (In 2005, diphenylamine, a pesticide residue, was found in up to 92% of more than 700 conventional milk samples) (5). Organic foods in general are a much better choice for human consumption because people will not be a risk of antibiotic resistance to human drugs ingested from food products. Organic dairy products should be the only milk products sold in grocery stores after a few years.
The use of antibiotics and growth hormones in dairy is used for cows to yield more pounds of milk per milking session. Cows at the Milk Unlimited Dairy Farm in Atlantic, Iowa are milked three times daily. According to a NRC (National Research Council) report by James Coffman Kansas State University, in tracking residues in animal organs, emphasis should be placed on those organs most commonly consumed rather than those rarely consumed. Since milk is not an animal organ, its residues can be tested more easily (4). Some of these antibiotics and hormones include, sulphonamides, tetracyclines, -lactams, macrolides, aminoglycosides, etc. With traces of these drugs being found in milk products, human consumption can mean resistance to these drugs when needed to treat a human infection. A number of these antibiotics are used in dairy farming to treat and prevent microbial infections in the milk cows (3). Mastitis is common infection among dairy cattle breeds which affects the cow’s udders where milk is produced and harvested. Drugs used to treat mastitis can be a potential source of veterinary drug residues in milk. Some of these drug residues found in animal products can cause humans to be more susceptible to common bacteria.

POLICY:
o Fareway stores in Sioux City, Iowa will only offer organic milk at a discounted price. Other dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and butter will only be sold as organic products over a period of 5 years.
o Cosumers will be offered a free gallon of organic milk for every organic gall on milk they buy.
o Once consumers taste and recognize the benefits of organic products, dairy farms will convert to organic ideals. This means that their cows will eventually not be treated with antibiotics for prevention of infections alone, and their feeds will not be produced with pesticides or chemicals.
o Farmers who choose to become organic over the five year period will be granted a 20% increase in price per hundred pounds of milk.
o New organic heifers brought onto farms will be tagged and tracked. These tags will be free of cost to the livestock producer.
o The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) will inspect their progress in becoming organic every year.

One problem with my policy is cost and how much harder the work is with organic production. With no antibiotics to treat and prevent common infections, production could be slowed. Milk is sold per hundred pounds of milk. In an attempt to push dairy farmers to become more organic, my policy will provide tax breaks of and benefits of a 20% increase in price per hundred pounds of organic milk no matter what the market is at the time.. I considered giving these producers a subsidy, but could not successfully determine how much each farmer should receive. The percent increase based off of the milk market makes the benefit fair for both large and small farmers. Most dairy farms are already worth thousands of dollars because the cows are very valuable and the cost of feeding them due to the grain market is growing. If farmers need new materials, (barns, milking equipment, cooling systems, etc.) the producer can file with the FDA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for funding depending upon the severity of their needs. The transition to producing organic milk and milk products will be a gradual one, taking multiple years.
Another issue is the cost of new dairy cattle. New dairy heifers brought onto farms to replace the old cows must be free of antibiotics. The heifer will be sold at a cheaper price to facilitate the organic revolution. Young heifer calves will be monitored and tracked throughout their whole lives. Because there is already a national tagging law where all dairy breeds producing milk for human consumption are specially tagged and tracked, I will approach the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and request to add another tag showing that the particular animal is macrobiotic. This extra tag will be free of cost to farmers who utilize them. The heifer will also be bought at a cheaper price to facilitate the organic revolution.
Failure to comply with the tagging and tracking system will result in no more government funding and the 20% increase price per hundred pounds of milk will be dropped. Also, if the FDA sees no progress towards the organic revolution, and nothing is being done to promote organic milk from the farm’s cows, the farmer will also be dropped from the benefits.
Milk already has no sales tax, so consumers will be rewarded for purchasing organic milk by sending in their receipts (as proof of purchase and so that our scientific staticians can collect data to see how the population is responding to the transition). After we receive their proofs of purchase, the buyer will be awarded a free gallon of milk for every organic dairy product purchased.
The problem of antibiotic residues found in milk could become incredibly severe if not intervened soon. Not only antibiotic resistance from dairy products but also in the animal meat consumed. I consider if all conditions are followed and organic milk producers follow a strict line to my policy and become completely natural over 5 years, antibiotic residues found in conventional milk products will be drastically reduced. Humans will not become resistant to antibiotics needed to treat common infections found in these milk products. With all of the benefits from organic milk, I think the switch will not be a difficult one.

REFERENCES
1. Gorin, Amy. "MORE MILK MONEY!" Prevention (July 2007): 74.
2. Elliot, Tabatha. "Organic Growth." Joe Weider's Muscle and Fitness (May 2008): 260.
3. J Sep Sci. 2008 Jun; 31(11):2068-90.
4. Coffman, J. (2000). Regulation of antibiotic resistance in the US. AgBioForum, 3(2&3), 141-147.
5. Sass, Cynthia. "HOW TO BE A BUDGET ORGANIC." Prevention (September 2008): 85-90.

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